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Parenthood Brings Focus on Aspergers = More Diagnosis of the Disorder?

NBC’s Parenthood isn’t just a hit with critics, it isn’t just a hit with the ratings, but it has become extremely popular with parents. The main demographic the show is reaching out to are those who have kids. Children, teens, and adult offspring, the show explores the whole range and all the blemishes that come with each age group. And there is one subplot that has parents talking, thinking and wondering about the topic of Asperger’s.

On Parenthood, the characters Adam and Kristina have a young son who has Asperger’s Syndrome. The TV couple is depicted struggling with their child’s disorder, an intense situation for their entire family.  And this fictional narrative brightly shines the light on Aspergers, a disorder which has – in the past – been more in the dark. But now this particular autism spectrum disorder is becoming nationally known.

And parents, we worry. When there is attention brought to a malady, some parents may begin to diagnosis their own children, or search out a professional opinion.  A few will come to the realization that yes- their child has the disorder. But a majority will probably find that their child, although they may have certain traits that could be considered “asperger-ish,” perhaps are just “quirky” or have their own unique social or behavioral issues don’t really have Asperger’s. Like ADD before it, will children start to be diagnosed with Aspergers or another ASD even though they actually don’t suffer from it?

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